by Miki Litmanovitz, SF2010
A major responsibility of cities is to engage with their residents and keepthem involved, and cities have been turning to socialmedia to help them achieve that goal. The City of San Francisco has alwaysbeen at the forefront of technology and social media. Mayor Gavin Newsom waseven recently named America’s Most Social Mayor for his use of social media.
How can other cities and nonprofits use social media to their advantage?Is Twitter the answer? Or is it Facebook? Blogging? YouTube? Cloud computing? What’s the next trend in bleeding-edgetechnology, and how can NGOs be prepared to use it?
I recently attended a training on how to use social media in the public andnonprofit sectors, and here are some best practices I learned:
- Remember that the purpose of social media isn’t to talk about you; it’s to get information about your organization. Keep your personal accounts and your organization’s accounts separate.
- Make sure you pick names that are intuitive, like the name of your organization. (Good example: Unicef)
- Keep your posts short, no more than a few very short paragraphs. (Good example: World Wildlife Fund)
- Your Twitter and Facebook accounts should contain unique information, not just link to other social networking sites. (Good example: Red Cross Twitter, Red Cross Facebook)
- Make it easy for people to donate! Include relevant information on your website/blog/etc. regarding how funding is used. (Good example: PETA)
- Take the extra time to make sure that all the links on your website work. Having inoperable links on your website looks unprofessional and makes it harder to find relevant information about your organization.